Five major Tory landlords have been named accused of “obstructing” the tenant reform bill
Five senior Tories accused of ‘obstructing’ new law banning ‘no-fault evictions’ for tenants who are landlords – including chief whip Simon Hart
Five senior Tories accused of “blocking” a new law banning “no-fault evictions” for tenants are landlords, the Mirror can reveal.
They include boss Whip Simon Hart, who bought a buy-to-let flat in Pembrokeshire in April this year. It comes after Michael Gove’s prime rent reform bill hit the roadblocks – sparking an internal Tory tussle over who was behind the delay.
Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Tory ministers have completely failed to explain why nothing has been done four years after promising to ban no-fault evictions and months after publishing their proposals.” Deputy landlords in the Tory whips office were deliberately obstructing and obstructing tenant protections.
A petition calling for the rent reform bill to be introduced immediately, organized by the 38 Degrees campaign group, has been signed by more than 42,000 people. Matthew MacGregor, the group’s chief executive, said: “In Britain in 2023, it is still possible for a landlord to evict you from your home for something as simple as requesting repairs.
“This government was elected on a promise to change this situation for millions of tenants – yet, four years on, it is clear that protecting tenants was not a priority for landlord Cabinet Ministers. If there is a landlord lobby in Parliament, it should have a voice Top for rent reform: Responsible landlords certainly want to improve conditions not just for renters, but for renters across the country.
“There are a number of landlords in the whips office who are amplifying the level of anxiety among Tory MPs and disrupting matters,” a Whitehall source told the Financial Times this week. But the Whips’ Office dismissed the suggestion as “ridiculous”, adding: “If the Whips’ Office has expressed its concerns it reflects the concerns of the wider parliamentary party.”
Today this newspaper can reveal which Tory MPs – responsible for discipline and ensuring MPs vote with the party line – are also landlords. In addition to the Chief Whip, two of the Government’s chief whips – Joe Churchill and Steve Double – rent properties.
Mrs. Churchill rents a house in Grantham, jointly owned with her husband. Until February, the couple owned three apartments in the town and rented them out. Mr Double owns an apartment in St Austell with his wife, which he has rented since last August (2022).
Assistant whip Ruth Edwards rents a flat in London. Fellow assistant whip Julie Marson owns a flat and a house in Kent, both of which are rental properties.
Mr MacGregor added: “But when senior ministers collect thousands of pounds from tenants on the one hand and refuse to introduce legislation to protect those same tenants on the other, something is very wrong. Serious questions should be asked of any landlord MP who has not given the rent reform bill his full support.
Ms Rayner added: “While the Conservatives are once again self-serving and failing to meet the needs of the British people, Labor is ready to make rent fairer, safer and more affordable.”
A Government spokesperson said: “The Government remains fully committed to delivering a fairer private rental sector for tenants and landlords through the Tenant Reform Bill. The bill making our commitment in our statement is progressing through Parliament and a second reading will follow shortly.